Senior executives need to re-think to survive tomorrow

Nicklas Dackheden

Is your organization ready for the future?

The company of tomorrow and its organizational structure cannot look like it did yesterday or 40 years ago. In this article I will explain my view on why this is.
In order to be relevant over time, a lasting change is required, which in turn means that you must review the system that a company is and go through several important items to ensure that the system can deliver the result you want.
Are you busy winning, surviving or completely focused on what you do? As of today, do you have a strategy to reach your goals?

To be able to conquer yourself and be relevant over time, one must think more about the organization as a whole and not just on the different parts, since the sum of the parts is never larger than the total. It is easy to get blinded by the present and as a result face the same fate as Kodak and Facit did in the last century. It is an old reference, but the problem unfortunately still remains today. What worked yesterday will not work tomorrow.

Clean water make the fish thrive - a good parable

For the sake of the argument let's use the idea that a company is like an aquarium and the fish are its employees. Few managers focus on the water (the organization) surrounding the fish (the employees) in their aquarium (company) and the quality of the water. They tend to focus on individual fish and spend their time on them. But if the water is dirty, it affects all fish in the aquarium. If there is no movement in the water, the oxygen will disappear, which causes the water to stagnate and it becomes clouded, which makes it difficult to see anything other than what is right in front of you. Wise leaders do not blame the fish for their poor results and do not just lift them out of the aquarium to wash them and then put them back in the aquarium, no, they clean the water.

Sustainability - from an organizational perspective

Right now, many companies are starting to make efforts on sustainability from an environmental perspective. So far, it is unfortunately not that many companies that have started to think about sustainability from an organizational perspective, they may not realize the danger or have a short-term focus.

Many companies have a challenge in changing their organizations to an organizationally sustainable structure. One misses this because senior executives tend to look too much at details and miss the big picture, often because they are too focused on the short-term result instead of the company's real well-being, its Business Wellness as we call it. You make what’s measurable important instead of making what’s important measurable.

Systemic thinking

A company can be seen as a system that is composed by its different parts. The most important parameter in this system is the purpose as it determines the general behavior of the system. The purpose of an organization must therefore be in accordance with the goals you want to achieve for the result not to be sub-optimal.

In system theory, one analyzes entire entities and how they work together. In system theory, one focuses not only on the isolated parts but on the connections between collaborative systems. Four key concepts for this are:

• communication

• relationships

• context

• pattern

What is your focus?

Are you busy winning, surviving or completely focused on what you do? Apple, for example, is completely preoccupied with what they do and therefore does not compete with anyone other than themselves. This means that you will sometimes be ahead and sometimes be behind. If you can answer the questions below, you will probably be ahead more frequently.

• How do we take care of our organization in a better way, from a systemic holistic perspective?

• How do we do to become a better organization to work in, over time, for both managers and employees?

• How do we continuously improve our product?

• How do we make our why clearer and stronger?

It's not the battle you want to win, but the war! If one dares to think like that then one dares to make changes that are right over time.

Why are Spotify, Klarna, Google, and Apple so successful? They dared to think in new ways and they are now some of our most successful companies. Could this be your organization? Yes, if you dare to take a systemic holistic approach when you make changes and if you act to make your company and your product as good as they can be, then over time you may have a chance.

Because what took you here won't take you there.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.

Read article: Senior executives need to re-think to survive tomorrow